There are four lights!

Star Trek: The Next Generation will ever be one of my favorite shows.  This episode is one of their most profound episodes.  Captain Picard is being held and tortured.(I won’t get into the episode details here.)

Picard is held captive and brutalized and now he is promised freedom if only he will admit there are five lights when there are only four. He has already resisted this but now he is hanging on by only the thinnest thread of will power. If you have read George Orwell’s 1984, you way recognize that one character is tortured by another until he (the tortured one) admits that he sees five fingers when, only four are held up.

Human behavior fascinates me. It is said if we hear something often enough, we will believe it.  This includes the amount of conflict (cognitive dissonance) that most live with because our inner truths are violated, challenged and even ridiculed in today’s media saturated culture. 

It fascinates and saddens me that people who identify themselves as Christian, support and excuse the appalling behaviors and values of this country’s leadership. 

I don’t believe America is the best nation in the world.  We have the highest amount of incarceration of any other country in the world.  Mass shootings are a regular event.  Our public schools resemble prisons.  The mentally ill, poor and weak are abandoned to preserve the power and wealth of the few. People are dying because health care is becoming something only available for the wealthy.  (I met a woman the other day suffering from a condition that is slowly suffocating her. Each breath is a struggle, yet the insurance denies payment for the surgery that would correct the condition.)

Now, please don’t tell me to go live in North Korea.  I love America, but it is to our peril if we don’t start with an honest appraisal of where things are.

 There are four lights.